PHL Construction Congress to draw up 2017-2022 construction road map

In Photo: Castelo

WITH the dawn of the Philippines’s golden age of infrastructure, the Department of Trade and Industry-Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (DTI-CIAP) is leading the creation of the country’s construction road map in the second Philippine Construction Congress at the Philippine International Convention Center on November 28.

The Philippine Construction Congress returns to converge the country’s key industry players and lay out the conceptual framework in drafting the Philippines’s Construction Industry Roadmap for 2017-2022, anchored on the P8.4-trillion infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

“With a conceptual framework as our blueprint, the government seeks to fast-track the formulation of the Philippine Construction Industry Roadmap in line with the biggest, boldest and the most ambitious infrastructure megaproject the country has ever witnessed,” said Ruth B. Castelo, DTI undersecretary for Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business Group and CIAP acting supervisor.

“As we present a conceptual framework in the event, we will discuss and consolidate the ideas of fellow nation-builders across the construction industry,” Castelo said. “With their inputs, we hope to identify lucrative investment areas and public-private partnerships, address the possible roadblocks, fiscal delivery, and nurture best practices that will bolster the country’s infrastructure mega-plan for the next five years.”

Coorganized with the Philippine Constructors Association  and DTI’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions the event will engage leaders and decision-makers of various infrastructure-related private-sector organizations, government offices, together with financial and academic institutions, foreign embassies and business support organizations.

To rally support for the development of a proposed road map, the Philippine Construction Congress will also conduct a signing of a memorandum of commitment  between the government, industry leaders and concerned stakeholders.

The Philippine construction industry is expected to grow in the next four years, reaching $47 billion in 2020 through funds driven largely by the residential and the infrastructure markets, according to Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center.

The infrastructure market is said to be the fastest-growing sector in the construction industry, with the report seeing the said market to reach $14.7 billion in 2020 at a compound annual growth rate of 14.14 percent, driven by government plans to develop high-speed rail links, highways and seaports through PPPs.

“Aside from creating a road map, the Philippine Construction Congress will streamline public and private efforts to come up with lucrative public-private partnerships and augment the grand vision of the Build, Build, Build program to increase the productive capacity of the economy, create jobs, increase incomes and strengthen the investment climate leading to sustained inclusive growth,” Castelo added.

Infrastructure is among the top priorities of the current administration, with public spending on infrastructure projects targeted to reach P8 trillion to P9 trillion in 2017-2022.

In his 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda, President Duterte envisioned the reduction of poverty from 21.6 percent in 2015 to between 13 percent and 15 percent by 2022.

Among the reforms that will drive this agenda is the acceleration of infrastructure and the development of industries that will yield robust growth across the archipelago, create jobs and uplift the lives of Filipinos.

In the first Philippine Construction Congress, the CIAP led nearly 300 stakeholders from the construction industry in setting the agenda and creating a groundwork to create more jobs and hire more workers to support the construction boom and Duterte’s National Employment and Livelihood Program.

In 2016  the share of the construction industry to total employment of the country stood at 8.2 percent.

The industry expanded its work force by 675,000 last year—equivalent to the combined employment generated from 2011 to 2015—to end at 3.3 million in 2016. The industry is expected to employ 5.8 million workers by 2022.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed major drivers of the country’s economic growth in 2016 were the accelerated performances of the industry and service sectors.

PSA data indicated the growth in the industry sector was due to the robust performance of the construction industry.

Construction investments, as measured by the gross value in construction, expanded 13.6 percent to P781.9 billion last year, the CIAP said.

Government infrastructure projects went up 29 percent to P185 billion, while private construction activities rose 9.5 percent to P596.9 billion.

“With the success of the first Philippine Construction Congress on job generation, we hope to further augment the nation-building efforts of the Philippine construction industry by complementing the key initiatives under the Build, Build, Build program,” Castelo said.